Performers and Programs

Performer Information  
Stage name: Bells & Motley Olden Music, Dance, and Storytelling
Performer name: Sondra & John Bromka
Phone: 315-673-2995
Mailing address: 36 South Street
Marcellus, NY 13108
E-mail address: sbromka@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.bellsandmotley.com
Previous appearances at: 1) 35 Years at Sterling Renaissance Festival - presenting Concerts, Musical Theater, Storytelling, Historic Dance Instruction, 2) NYS Heritage and Canal Fest Events for Communities, Libraries, Schools across NYS, 3) School & Community residencies and pageants across NYS, Northeast, and Europe, 4) Historic Site thematic specialty programs for Lorenzo, Crailo, French Azilum, Sackets Harbor, Olana, many more; also France, Germany, & Belgium, 5) Libraries across all areas of NYS, and locally in Marcellus, Onondaga Hill; see our website for complete lists
Contact information for New York State Public Libraries
Information last updated: 06/07/2016

Records  1-10 of 27   Next >
Program
Category
Description
Fee
'The Boy Who Went to Visit the North Wind' Participatory Storytelling + 'Who Has Heard the Wind' Children's Concert History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
Sondra and John Bromka bring audiences on a wind-swept journey to 'long ago and far away' with the telling of this fine traditional tale. Look forward to an energetic tandem storytelling performance that is underscored with live music on Celtic harp, enriched with historic authenticity, and alive with abundant participation that is well suited to audiences of all ages. A tale of wonder, magic, and heroism, the story unfolds when a poor boy's meal is unwittingly blown away, taken to the four corners of the earth by the all-powerful North Wind, and cannot be returned. In exchange, a magic tablecloth, magic donkey, and magic stick are three marvelous gifts offered by the Wind. But in the end, the most important gift of all is surely the North Wind's sage advice: 'All you have to do is keep your eyes & ears open.' As in the best of traditional folktales, there is the timeless appeal of a thought provoking theme. Here, justice & fairness are of universal concern to young children. And they will enjoy their favorite storytelling elements: patterns and repetition, personification, and especially, the wondrous and curious ways of 'long ago & far away.'
$351- $500
'One World, Many Instruments' Concert Show & Tell for Children, Families Multicultural- Other,
Music,
Science
Created of wood, bone, skin, metals, and earth, it is an amazing thing to behold the many ways people around this globe have used nature’s materials to bring forth music! The Bromkas have a long history of first-hand explorations and experimentations with world music in its many forms. Their extensive travels have lead them to play a variety of truly exotic instruments, from a great many different countries and cultures. Audiences love their hurdy gurdy, hammered dulcimer, the wide variety of bagpipes, mandolins, cittern, and Celtic harps. This musical journey travels to the far reaches of Asia, to include the magical Chinese Harp called “guzheng” and “erhu” fiddle, Turkish oud & baglama, Mideastern zither “kanun,”and a raft of percussion and other rare instruments! Hear stories for each of their instruments and musical selections, be it travels in Europe and Asia, gifts from mysterious strangers, or the instruments built in the Bromkas' own studios. This multicultural musical journey is a fascinating, fun learning experience for folks of all ages.
$351- $500
THE ART of the BALLAD: Oral Literature, Musical Poetry, Mystery and Legend History,
Literature- Other,
Music
The ballad was a powerful and mystical form of early literature that was enriched and carried through time by the elements of rhyme, rhythm, and music. This collection of compelling short musical tales represents different cultures, and is presented in original form - as songs rich in symbolism, surprising storylines, archetypal characters, and the familiar motifs they share with their close cousins, folk and fairy tales. This intriguing program features early music and instruments from the times of Beowulf to Shakespeare, including medieval bray harp, hurdy gurdy, recorders and other historic instruments. Adaptable for different ages and seasons.
$351- $500
French Music, Instruments, & Dance Traditions of the Provinces Multicultural- Other,
Music,
Performing Arts- Dance
The Bromkas offer a memorable musical journey through the French Provinces! As traveling musicians who visit France each year to participate in regional music and dance festival, John and Sondra have a large repertoire of songs, instruments, and even lively circle and line dances that will be chosen to appeal to the age level and needs of your group. Rare and distinctive regional instruments in their collection include: Breton and Auvergnat bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, flutet et tambourin, more! There are also French songs especially for dancing. (Artists may present a concert of musical traditions, or a combination program of traditional dances, instruments, and songs. Other possibilities include participatory crepe-making activity, more!)
$351- $500
Bells & Motley Victorian Musical Celebration of Christmas Past History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
Music and customs of a traditional Christmas of Dickens' time included jovial and ceremonial songs with choruses for all to share, ballads steeped history, costumed characters or 'guisers,' tableaux and games, dances, and the presence of holly, ivy, and evergreen. This musical voyage back to the spirit of Christmas Past offers a magical time for family and friends to gather and share the origins of our traditions. Across England, wealthy households would celebrate with great musical feasts and pageants, and folks would go from door to door, singing wassailing songs that ended with the request for 'a toast and a good loaf or cheese, and we’ll be on our way.' Featured will be wassail songs from Cornwall, Somerset, and Gloucestershire. Other traditions will include a special processional bagpipe air from Northumberland to 'pipe your bounds' to insure abundance and well being throughout the new year. This peek behind the history of Christmas celebration uncovers the universal within the season's mirth and merriment, and plants the seeds of ideas for reestablishing some of the old traditional elements for community celebrations - further enriching the meaning and majesty of this important holiday season.
$351- $500
Bells & Motley Community Revelry- Renaissance Faires, Harvest Festivals, Erie Canal Celebrations, More! History,
Performing Arts- Theater,
Visual Arts- Crafts
Topics include: -Community Heritage Bicentennial and Sesquicentennial Celebrations -Labyrinth Building -Musical Instrument Building -Christmas Pageants -Playwriting & Performance on Historic themes -Renaissance Faires & Festivals -and Much more! One-of-a-kind projects enthusiastically welcome! We often offer water-related themes. Got a River? Erie Canal?
$501- $1000
'BAWSHOU & the WATER DRAGON' A Traditional Chinese Storytelling Pageant Multicultural- Other,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
Perfect for A Universe of Stories Summer Reading Program Theme 2019. Dig deep into a cave of the earth--the Sun has been captured by a Fearsome Dragon and hidden away. The HERO of our tale is Bawshou, a young man who courageously rises to the challenge of freeing the Sun. With the help of a golden phoenix, a small parcel of earth, a magic robe, and a heroic dream, Bawshou travels afar to seek out and rescue the Sun, for the good of his people and all the land. Children actively participate as they portray the flowing river, the sounds of the sea, the playing of the gong, the dancing stars, and much much more! The artists evoke a magical atmosphere in this important Chinese tale, employing authentic oriental techniques and traditions including stylized dramatic forms and movement, mythology, exotic costumes, and unusual musical sounds. Chinese folk instruments (erhu, p’i p’a, guzheng harp, sona, Chinese Theatre drum, flutes & whistles, and gong) are featured, combining to make this unforgettable performance piece a joyous celebration of oriental culture. 'Bawshou' was commissioned by the Springfield MA Museum of Fine Arts in 1994. (see accompanying Chinese Dragon Mask Workshop/Parade).
$351- $500
'Wassail' Renaissance Christmas Pageant & Music Revels Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling,
Performing Arts- Theater
'Sing, Say, and Play!' in this participatory Christmas music and pageant performance that toasts the old year and welcomes in the new. Set in the Magical Days of Yore, it is fanciful weaving of historic music, traditions, and surprises. 'Wassail' comes from the Old English greeting Wes hael, meaning 'Be thou hail!' and wassailers even today go about England carolling friends & neighbors in this traditional musical well-wishing. To highlight the event, the audience takes on roles in a traditional mummers’ play - a lighthearted spectacle of singing, costumes and laughter. Mummers' plays are still performed in rural England as improvisatory theater in streets, homes, and community gatherings, and feature a host of characters who symbolically assist the sun in its turning through the shortest days of the year. The culminating event of the play is the grand Wassail Bowl, around which all gather to wish a fine Yuletide Season! Come One and All, Young and Old, Shy and Bold, and let thy fancies run free (and be sure to bring your cameras!)
$351- $500
Historic Music and Dance Celebrations of Many Cultures History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Dance
Bells & Motley's International Instruments, with International Folk Dances for Families; Special topics include Celebrating NYS Heritage with Dutch Music and French Cultural Heritage Concerts, Performances, Celebrations See www.bellsandmotley.com website for detailed information, photos, and much more.
$351- $500
'THE ANT & THE GRASSHOPPER, AESOP'S FABLED FIDDLER' - Dreamers & Doers, It Takes Both! Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling,
Performing Arts- Dance
Bells & Motley's musical storytelling performance is a Greek classic concerning the value of Dreaming, Digging In, and Doing! We all understand how our lives' pressing labors hang in a balance with the wonders of artistry and expression, through colors and sounds and dances. In our telling, we are confident that all will appreciate the carefully drawn moral concerning the value of both work & play. As we weave the tale through Ant and Grasshopper’s year in four episodes, each scene begins with the appropriate movement of Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' evocatively performed by the artists on harp, nyckelharpa, tromba marina, and winds. The action and mystique of the tale are further highlighted by the audiences’ contributions on medieval fiddles (researched and built by the artists themselves), percussion, and dancing. At the end of our maiden performance of this show, a young fellow excitedly asked: 'Where will we all be performing this next?' Exploratory Expressions by audience+artists, before the performance: -The Grasshopper's Fiddling Troupe - The Ant's Percussion Troupe - The Butterfly Dancers And now, Dear Audience, Places!! Let the story begin as together we play and sing the 15th c. song of 'El Grillo' the Cricket!
$351- $500
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* Inclusion in this database does not indicate endorsement of any performer or program by the NYS Education Department, the Office of Cultural Education, the NYS Library or the participating library systems, nor does it eliminate the need for reference checks and appropriate standard screening procedures.

 

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